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All posts by Chris.SE

Below are all of Chris.SE's postings, with the most recent are at the bottom of the page.


Just to add to a bit of confusion, according to an OFCOM document I've just looked up, there is supposed to be a relay transmitter at Staithes - very very low power - 4W (2W according to another source!) but is supposedly a relay of Pontop Pike and uses the same channels as the Skinningrove relay - also very very low power (6W) supposedly a relay of Bilsdale. Both are beamed of course, and I assume both get off-air signals from their parent transmitter.
Some parts of your postcode are also predicted to get some signals from Pontop Pike.

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John A:

Which Channels have your problems been with? Has it been continuous or just now and again and roughly how frequently and what sort of duration? What sort of problem - pixellation or no signal?

Arqiva never give any details about the Planned Engineering work - usually routine maintenance - it's very unlikely to be any update - at least not affecting any normal transmission and it's highly improbable to have any connection to a 5G (if it is) mast near you. The mast may not even be operating in the 700MHz band anyway - 5G has several allocated bands.

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Michael Francis:

Which multiplexes (and transmitters) you may receive will depend upon location.
Most of the "Great" channels were moved to Local multiplexes by the then owners Sony back in July 2019.
See for which channels are carried on which multiplexes.

Local multiplexes are only transmitted at lower power on a small number of main transmitters serving mainly large urban areas with signals beamed in those directions. The Local multiplex at Pontop Pike is beamed easterly towards Newcastle and Sunderland areas.

We need a full postcode to advise on the predicted reception in your locale.

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The WR8 postcode area is quite large and reception will be quite variable across the postcode because of terrain, however there are several places where the predicted reception is good from several transmitters - not just Malvern!

We need a full postcode to look at the predicted reception in your Locale (the predictors don't work on partial postcodes). Which direction is your aerial pointing and are the rods (or squashed Xs) vertical or horizontal?
Roughly how old is the aerial?

The Malvern transmitter (along with many others) changed aerial group during the 700MHz Clearance program back in 2018. If you have an old Group C/D aerial that could account for poor reception, you really need a Group K for Malvern (even a Group B is pushing it, wideband would also work but not quite as well) BUT this will all depend on which transmitter would serve your location best as the different transmitters may require a different Group for best reception.

Using Sky sounds like an expensive option, a lot of modern TVs have in-built satellite tuners, have you checked yours? If so, you could use Freesat if Freeview turns out not be be an option (or even as a backup).
(PS. You've posted on the DAB transmitter page rather than Freeview, but not to worry, we'll still post information!). if your favourite programmes are only transmitted on Sky then you'll have to keep paying them but I'm not sure why the internet connection should be affecting your Sky satellite reception?
Why does the internet go down regularly? What sort of Internet connection do you have? Is the phone line noisy with crackles?

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Full technical details of Freeview
Saturday 30 October 2021 2:00PM

Jannene Travell:

Of course some locations are exposed to some atrocious winter weather, however a good professional installer (CAI approved) should be able to provide an installation that lasts more than a winter or two!
That said, using indoor aerials can be fraught with issues, it depends on how far you are from the transmitter(s) and whether you can get a "line-of-sight".

We need a full postcode to look at the predicted reception in your locale and which transmitter(s) and multiplexes you might receive.

If you have a "smart" TV, why would you need a "Freeview" box? What make and model is the TV?

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John A:

First, a quick answer to that last question - No!

All the channels (programmes) you've mentioned are carried on the ArqA/COM5 multiplex, which is on UHF channel C37 at Waltham. Were the previous problems with the same group of channels?
(See for which channels are carried on which multiplex).

Now there's a couple of possibilities here.

The first, you've mentioned you are on a communal system. I'm assuming that the mention of "fine-tuner" to adjust the signal is a reference to that fact that a lot of communal systems (especially larger ones - roughly how many are on your system?) have what's called a channelised distribution system.
The aerial signal is fed to a number of filters and pre-amps specific to each UHF channel in use at a given transmitter. This is so that the signal strength of each UHF channel can be adjusted separately so that they are all as equal as possible and within the correct range when distributed to all the outlets in each of the premises it serves.
They obviously can go faulty from time to time.

Have a look in your set's tuning section for signal strength and quality (or error) figures. Make a note of the figures for UHF 37 when you are not seeing a problem and when you are, and compare to the other UHF channels for the other multiplexes and make a note of them. Whatever the signal strength figures (not overly important as long as they aren't too low (or excessive) as long as the quality figures are 100% (or error figures zero or very low).
I've mentioned "excessive" signal strength - this is why the answer to your question was "No". Just because one channel was/maybe low (when the others are at the correct levels), if you amplify all of them you can overload the front end of your receiver which can produce pixellated pictures, sound break-up etc. Filtering individual channels in a "domestic" set-up it not practical and would be very expensive if you were to try and "emulate" a professional distribution system.

The second possibility is a fault with that multiplex at the transmitter and the reason for the Planned Engineering. Only time will tell. If you post those figures it may give us a clue.

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Stephen Orr:

It's not quite as simple as being "on the edge of signal" - there are areas further afield that are predicted to and will get good reception. This is more to do with the terrain and general lie of the land in your locale which is why there is a Relay transmitter at Bushmills which transmits the 3 PSB multiplexes (Freeview Light).

There are parts of your area that will get good signals for the 3 PSB multiplexes from Limavady and some parts may receive the COM multiplexes but with variable to poor reception.
We need a full postcode to look at predicted reception in your particular locale. But there is no general reason why you shouldn't get the BBCB HD/PSB3 multiplex equally as well as the BBCA/PSB1 or D3&4/PSB2 multiplexes.

If your aerial is pointi9ng at Limavady it should be pointing roughly at a bearing of 245 degrees, that's 25 degrees S of due W (almost WSW) with the rods (or squashed Xs) horizontal.
Try a manual tune for UHF channel C47 which is the one for PSB3 from Limavady.

You'd probably be predicted to get good reception of the 3 PSB multiplexes from Bushmills but we'd need that full postcode to confirm. Whilst to receive it, technically the aerial should point at it - bearing 128 degrees - fractionally E of SE, with the rods vertical, however aerials have "side-lobes" and sometimes receive signals from the side even with the wrong polarisation if they are strong enough. It might be worth you trying a manual tune of UHF 37 for PSB3 from it, just to see if you get anything.

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Martin Melbourne:

As per the post before yours, the BBC reported a fault. There's the possibility the fault has not yet been fully fixed.
As you've retuned it'll probably have cleared the correct tuning when there's no signal, so you'll have to repeat the retune, maybe several times as you won't know when the signals will be back.
It is never advised to retune if you have no signal or badly pixellated pictures.

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John A:

It's most likely to be the Planned Engineering (not upgrades) that's still ongoing as per the post before yours. Do NOT retune (otherwise you'll probably have to do it again when signals are normal).

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Mike Davison:

I'm afraid that's very old news Mike (4th Oct.) . It always was the plan to put up a more substantial temporary mast on the original mainmast site once the fired damaged mast was made safe/taken down which it was (see earlier posts).

I had included a link to the Planning application which has been approved, as well as the general information but I think the site censor/spam filter has blocked it. I'll try putting it in a separate post.

See for a history of events.
For help, see and

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